Vaginal Discharge: Causes, Types, Diagnosis and Treatment

Vaginal discharge Normal vagina and cervix during a medical speculum exam demonstrating IUD strings at the opening of the cervix and normal milky white vaginal discharge on the vaginal walls, cervix, and pooled in vaginal fornix. If you are sexually active and if you are unsure about your partner’s sexual history, you risk getting STIs. Use your blow dryer on a low, cool setting to help dry your genital area.

  • I know—not something you want a whiff of when you take off your undies.
  • Although this side effect isn’t usually listed on the box, anecdotal evidence suggests that this is common.
  • Almost all women get thrush from time to time and it is not sexually transmitted.
  • However, if it's consistent after two weeks, or you think you could be at risk of an STI, it's important to consult your doctor," advises Eskander."
  • These can derive from the colonization of the vagina with oral or fecal bacteria.
  • He or she can pinpoint the cause and come up with the appropriate treatments or next steps to keep your pregnancy and baby safe and healthy.

Other symptoms of PCOS include: Is it Around your Period? One-third of women have at least one form of vaginitis at some time during their lives. This odor may become more noticeable after intercourse. Symptoms of advanced cancer may include: Doctors refer to this as a chemical pregnancy. So, if you’re having unprotected sex and experience brown discharge and cramps instead of period, it could be a good idea to take a pregnancy test.

It could also be some other kind of infection, but it’s hard to diagnose this stuff yourself. It’s especially common to have brown discharge around 2 days before your period. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is another possible infection that isn’t necessarily transmitted with sexual contact. Vaginitis signs and symptoms can include: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) may go away on its own, but will often recur, so it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about treatment. It is not known exactly why this imbalance in bacterial growth occurs. Use condoms for at least a week after beginning treatment for a yeast infection, so you do not infect your partner or re-infect yourself.

All opinions regarding this product are my own. Other common ones include chlamydia and gonorrhea. Open search, the UFCOM-J offers accredited graduate medical education residency and fellowship programs, in addition to non-standard fellowship programs. It is strongly recommended to take a pregnancy test if you have brown discharge regardless of how much there is and during which period of your cycle it occurs.

Its main characteristic is a fishy smell coming from the vagina coupled with brown colored discharge.

When To Call a Professional

It could also be a sign of atrophic vaginitis - which might seem odd, when this condition is caused by vaginal dryness, but it also makes you prone to vaginal infection which can lead to discharge and soreness. If the yeast infection symptoms do not go away after a week, contact your gynecologist. Brown discharge may be caused by irregular period cycles. Correct and consistent use of a condom will decrease your risk of contracting not only chlamydia, but other sexually transmitted infections as well. Possible causes of pinkish-brown vaginal discharge include the following: Because pregnancy may have taken place, the mucus changes into a thick 'plug' which seals the cervix and stops bacterial contamination during early pregnancy," explains Eskander. "This process often occurs around the same time that the individual would expect to get their next period.

Yeast infections can be easily treated through over-the-counter creams or suppositories, as well as medicine from your healthcare provider. This is perfectly normal, and it’s your uterus’ way of cleaning itself out when your flow is light. You may notice a change in the color, amount or odor of discharge. Yellow discharge could also be amniotic fluid. If you are experiencing the symptoms described in this article, you should call your doctor now. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can also cause vaginal discharge, though more often than not these infections do not cause symptoms.

Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear, white, or off-white (even slightly yellowish when dried). Can brown discharge be a sign of pregnancy? Conditions that can cause abnormal vaginal discharge include infections like: For example, taking an antibiotic to treat another infection may upset this balance. Frontiers, the EAIR of injection site reactions (high-level term) was 1. This is why it’s significant to get yourself checked every year. There is often information not given that can really change the answer. Yellow vaginal discharge is usually normal, but here are a few signs that it's not.

  • If you notice your discharge is thick and white, like cottage cheese, greenish, pink or brown, or smells fishy, then go and see your doctor.
  • Usually, infection occurs when a change in the delicate balance in a woman’s system takes place.
  • If it doesn't clear up within a few days of using medication, see your ob-gyn to find out if something else is going on.
  • See your GP if you think you might have it.
  • Vaginal discharge from bacterial or yeast infections responds to treatment within a few days to a week.
  • Make sure to pat the area dry to avoid further irritation of the vagina.

What Is Candida Or "yeast" Infections?

See your GP or go to a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic as soon as possible. Spotting during pregnancy is sometimes, but not always, a sign of miscarriage. Such imbalances can lead to conditions like bacterial vaginosis (aka BV — the most common cause of abnormal discharge) (1) and yeast infections (vulvovaginal candidiasis) (2). These occur when there's an overgrowth of a fungal organism — usually C. However, sometimes the number of candida increases. Antibiotics do a great job at killing all the bad bacteria in your body.

You may especially notice this after sex," she says. "Healthy discharge is generally clear or milky in color. Do not use over-the-counter feminine washes or douches as these can irritate the vagina and may cause infection. Lactobacillus acidophilus pill for a yeast infection, pantoflickova D, Corthesy-Theulaz I, Dorta G, et al. Minkin, as it could mean something else is going on, like the presence of polyps or even a tumor (very unlikely, but possible). Your cycle may get shorter or longer, and your periods may be lighter or heavier. You may be more likely to experience clear, stretchy discharge before you ovulate, when you’re turned on, or when you’re pregnant. Yeast infections. Brown discharge can be a sign of pregnancy and implantation.

You’re Stressed

There are some people who think that spotting is a sign of pregnancy. Other things you can do that may help prevent vaginitis include: The majority of the liquid in vaginal discharge is mucus produced by glands of the cervix. Some infections, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, may not cause symptoms in the beginning stages. Wondering if your discharge is abnormal? Your doctor can work with you to identify whatever led to your symptoms, such as antibiotic use, wearing non-cotton underwear, wearing tight-fitting undergarments during exercise, using scented products that irritate the vaginal lining, or using birth control pills. If you believe your abnormal discharge is a sign of a sexually transmitted disease, getting tested helps you know your health and get treatment.

But yellow discharge could be a sign of an STI like gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis, Mary Jane Minkin, M.

Sexually Transmissible Infections

The clumps resemble cottage cheese and besides itching, there can also be burning and pain. Your doctor may determine a more effective course of treatment, suggest ways to self-treat at home or help you eliminate potential causes of infection. During the normal menstrual cycle, the amount and consistency of discharge changes. However, as you get closer to menopause, it’s quite normal that your period will get lighter and you may have periods that actually resemble spotting.

What Is Not Normal?

You’ll likely be meeting your baby soon. The good news is that it can be treated and cured with a prescription pretty quickly. After menopause, estrogen therapy may be taken by mouth or vaginally. Office on Women’s Health. If you are already pregnant and in your first trimester of pregnancy, spotting may be a sign of a miscarriage. But if your bleeding is heavy — or if it continues after the infection clears — it may be a sign of a different underlying condition. These infections often have additional symptoms, including:

What matters is that you know what *your* normal generally looks like—that way you're better able to spot when your discharge looks or feels a little off. Some bloody brown discharge after sex could simply be a sign of vigorous sex. It may smell different when you're pregnant or you've been letting your personal hygiene slide. How are yeast infections treated? Any of these can be a sign of infection. Although it’s very are, cervical cancer can lead to some usual vaginal discharge. However, due to a wide variety of factors that could interrupt the balance of acidity in the vagina, prevention is mostly difficult or impossible.

Usually, upon a simple examination of the vagina, a physician can diagnose a yeast infection.

The most common cause is an allergic reaction or irritation from vaginal sprays, douches or spermicidal products. It's unusual for young girls to have abnormal vaginal discharge before they've gone through puberty. Candida vaginale: sintomi, cura e terapia, normalmente la Candida albicans accompagna la vita dell’individuo sano, ma in alcune condizioni la sua concentrazione sale al punto da diventare patogena. When should I see the doctor about abnormal vaginal discharge? Although many women with chlamydia or gonorrhea have no symptoms at all, those that do may experience this type of discharge. Always wipe from front to back after using the restroom. The flow of this fluid out of the vagina is a normal way for your self-cleaning vagina to keep itself healthy and moist. Resist the urge! Chlamydia is another sexually-transmitted infection (STD) due to the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis.

  • Vaginal discharge is normal for most women, sometimes every day and other times just under certain circumstances.
  • It’s important to familiarize yourself with your own, unique “normal” vaginal discharge—in terms of smell, color, and changes throughout the cycle.
  • What are the different types of vaginal discharge?
  • Hersh cautions that it can be very "goopy" and you may need a panty liner — and it's all totally normal.
  • See a doctor promptly if vaginal discharge is thick or clumpy, or it has a foul odor.
  • Women may have no symptoms, or they may have a watery vaginal discharge with a bad odor.

Further Information

Clear, white, and cream-colored discharge of a creamy or egg white–like texture are all considered normal, but getting to know your personal "normal" will help you detect if anything's gone awry. For example, if you have breakthrough bleeding, it can have a pink or brown tint. Most people will notice their discharge increases throughout the first phase of their cycle, with the most discharge being produced in the days before and including ovulation. If you are prescribed any creams, you should ask your prescribing physician if it can weaken latex condoms or protective barriers for safe sex. More commonly, it occurs during or after menopause. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection caused by a change in the vaginal flora, which refers to the community of organisms that live in the vagina. You need to finish all your medicine, even if you feel better. For one, "bleeding from the cervix can be caused by a cervical polyp (a benign growth on the cervix that can be susceptible to bleeding). "

A yeast infection can be treated by creams that can be applied vaginally. If you are having any of the symptoms below see your health care provider: That’s exactly right, she says. Brown vaginal discharge may look alarming, but it isn’t always a reason for concern. These include antibiotics, birth control pills, cervical cancer, diabetes, scented soaps, lotions, and even a bubble bath. Burris also says normal vaginal discharge varies in amount and ranges in color from clear to milky, white discharge. Urinary tract infection (uti): symptoms, treatment, home remedies & prevention, the urinary tract or system consists of the urine-producing kidneys; the pair of tubes called the ureters; and the bladder, which stores urine and empties it from the body through the urethra. If you think you may have an STD, get tested to check your status so you can get the right treatment.

Cause of Condition

If you're seeing a questionable yellow or green tint, it's important to see your doc ASAP. ” Michigan Medicine. When did your symptoms begin? Foreign objects can cause a chronic vaginal discharge with a foul odor. We also explain what is normal and when to see a doctor. Yeast infections are not contagious, and over-the-counter antifungal creams are available for a patient to use.

If you notice itching, a strong bad smell, or a change in color (such as to brown, gray, or green), it's a sign of a vaginal infection. However, certain changes can indicate an infection. WHAT IS NORMAL?

Can Yogurt, Garlic, Or Tea Tree Oil Cure Vaginal Infections?

Abnormal discharge means abnormal color (brown, green), and odor. Brown discharge may occur in the days before your period is due, or for several days after your period seems to have ended. Some people experience a little bit of spotting after ovulation, which can also cause pink discharge. And, last but not least, remember to always remove your tampons.

A thin white discharge that comes along with other symptoms can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis, according to the Mayo Clinic. A yeast infection occurs when the normal levels of acid and yeast in the vagina are out of balance and cause a very uncomfortable, but not serious, a condition. Changes in the balance of normal vaginal bacteria can cause bacterial vaginosis. If you have any questions about the type of vaginal discharge you’re experiencing, contact your provider,” Burris says. What is yellow discharge during pregnancy? If you have gone through the menopause and suddenly notice an abnormal vaginal discharge, see your doctor as soon as possible to rule out cervical cancer or endometrial cancer.

If there is the slightest chance you might have an STI see a health professional for a check-up.

Is it possible? If your spotting continues for more than three months, consider talking to a doctor about changing birth control methods. If a woman has a yeast infection, she will likely experience pain during sexual intercourse, and itching and/or pain around the vulva. It is always a good idea to be safe. Normally the vagina has a number of bacteria which make the vagina more acidic, to help prevent infection of the uterus," explains Eskander. "If this happens, they should see a doctor. This is often caused by changes in hormone levels. Balancemd™, contains caprylic acid (mentioned above), which kills yeast cells. The infection produces a foul-smelling green or yellow vaginal discharge, along with itching and inflammation in the vaginal area and vulva along with pain.

If Your Discharge Is Yellow Or Green...

See your doctor or go to a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic as soon as possible. These organisms don't infect the vagina directly. Treatment depends on what’s causing your abnormal discharge.

Last updated on Jan 13, 2020. Pink discharge most commonly occurs with spotting before a period. ” National Health Services. An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that forms on or inside of the ovary. Bacterial vaginosis. This spotting may be brown, pink, or red.

That’s why around your period, you may have brown discharge and itching and burning at the same time.

Anytime you have questions about your vaginal health, contact your doctor at Kansas City ObGyn. Abnormal vaginal discharge may be yellow or green, chunky, or foul-smelling. Instead, it’s caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that can lead to changes in the texture, color, or smell of your discharge. If you are pregnant and experiencing spotting, you should consult with your doctor. WHAT IS NOT NORMAL? What does normal vaginal discharge look like? But most of the time, there is nothing to be worried about.

These bacteria are sometimes spread from the rectum to the vaginal area by wiping from back to front after using the toilet.

Navigation Menu

Your health care provider will consider other causes of vaginal discharge such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Keep reading to learn more about why bleeding can happen with a yeast infection, symptoms to expect, and when to see your doctor. It often occurs around the time of your period. During your period, your body will shed this tissue, but if it’s outside the uterus, it may have nowhere to go, which is what can cause pain. BV is often accompanied by strong, fishy odor. Mucus from the vagina and cervix sometimes turns yellow when it comes into contact with the air, according to the U.

These are the most common types of vaginitis: What does yellow discharge look like? Prevent infections by limiting sexual partners, practicing safer sex with the use of condoms, and maintaining good hygiene routines. Around ovulation, it can be stretchy like egg whites.

The main symptom is itching, but you might have a white, thick discharge that resembles cottage cheese. If you experience yellow discharge, this could be an indication of an infection in the cervix. All a woman can do is to practice safe sex, avoid harsh soaps and scented products. Any sudden change to your discharge may indicate a vaginal infection. Irritation can cause a pink, red, or brown discharge if the cervix or vaginal canal has bled slightly. ” American Pregnancy Association. When should I talk to my healthcare provider about brown discharge? Usually, it contains a bit of blood.


If brown spotting occurs in conjunction with irregular or missed periods, acne, weight gain or excess hair on the face or body, it could be a sign of PCOS. Candida albicans: pathogenesis, diseases and laboratory diagnosis, (1, 3, and 5) SC5314 (PES1/PES1). Darker yellow discharge could be a sign of an infection like bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis or a yeast infection, especially if the discharge is thick, smells bad or is accompanied by itching or burning. However, it is important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and for advice on how to treat the infection.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Your discharge may have no smell, or it may have an odor that is mild but not unpleasant. This may cause a foul odor. However, gonorrhea and chlamydia usually don't cause any symptoms at all. Here are the different colors your vaginal discharge can be and why. A typical vagina contains normally occurring bacteria which create an acidic environment. What causes vaginitis?

You should be aware of how your discharge naturally varies throughout your cycle and what is not normal, but obvious warning signs of infection are: Green vaginal discharge is usually abnormal and suggestive of an infection. Discharge that is a darker shade of yellow, yellowish-green, or green usually signals a bacterial or sexually transmitted infection. It’s commonly referred to as implantation bleeding. Medications will include antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs. List of oral thrush medications (19 compared), oral thrush can be easily treated with a mouth gel bought from a pharmacy. Discharge is just your vagina cleaning up by shedding old cells.

  • Changes in your discharge that may signal a problem include an increase in the amount, and a change in the color, smell or texture of the discharge.
  • For some women, brown spotting does occur during early pregnancy.
  • The discharge often has a foul odor, especially if it has a yellow/green or green/white color.
  • Other causes of abnormal discharge include postoperative pelvic infection, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and in rare cases, cervical cancer.


It may also come with itching or burning. Sometimes, the cyst doesn’t resolve and may grow larger. This form of discharge may be an indication of trichomoniasis infection, which is frequently transmitted through sexual intercourse. If you use hormonal birth control, these typical patterns of vaginal discharge will stop, as the hormonal cycling is stopped. Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that can cause brown discharge. You may also experience other symptoms with a change in discharge, such as irritation, itchiness or burning in or around your vagina.

Low levels of certain hormones may influence when and how the uterus sheds its lining, which may lead to spotting in the form of pinkish-brown discharge. For the first few days after the delivery of the baby, the woman’s vaginal discharge will be similar to a heavy period with dark red blood and some clots. People may also notice some pink or brown discharge toward the end of their period. Your nurse or doctor will discuss your concerns, check your genital area and take swab tests to find infection. It is not an STI. These bacteria seem to overgrow in much the same way as do candida when the vaginal pH balance is upset. It’s imperative that sexually transmitted diseases are treated promptly as they could progress into more severe infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease. Another reason for irregular bleeding is the sexually transmitted infection HPV (human papillomavirus)-certain strains of which have the potential to turn into cervical cancer if left untreated.

Don’t douche or use feminine hygiene sprays, sanitary pads, or tampons that contain deodorant.

Don't Like This Video?

For treatment to be effective, the sexual partner(s) must be treated at the same time as the patient. Medicines are available to help. If the discharge is cloudy or yellow, it is a strong indication of gonorrhea. This discharge can last for a couple of days once your period is over.

Warning Signs

Following a period, a person may notice less vaginal discharge than usual. You should consult your health care provider, within one day, anytime you have symptoms or concerns relating to abnormal vaginal discharge. Although rare, some women can experience very light brown discharge during ovulation. PID increases a woman's risk of infertility, pelvic scarring, chronic pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy. When blood leaves the body quickly, it’s usually a shade of red. Get plenty of rest to make it easier for your body to fight infections.


If you think you might have a yeast infection, call your doctor. Very rarely, a blood-tinged or brownish vaginal discharge can indicate cervical cancer. Many women experience a brownish tinge to their discharge 2-3 days before their period starts. A yeast infection is a type of vaginitis, or vaginal inflammation. Any sudden change to your discharge may suggest a vaginal infection. How is a yeast infection diagnosed? If you had a previous yeast infection, and you have repeat symptoms that are similar, you can start treatment with an over-the-counter antifungal medication. If you have recurring bacterial or yeast infections, discuss preventative measures with your doctor.

You've never had a vaginal infection. They may also need to take a sample of discharge for testing. Discharge may have a slight odor as well, although a foul, fishy odor is a sign of an infection. Bacterial vaginosis is common in women who are pregnant.

Trichomoniasis. Some of the more common symptoms of vaginitis include: Any hormonal birth control can create a hormonal imbalance, which can lead to breakthrough bleeding.